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Health minister criticises Mancroft

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Health minister Ben Bradshaw has criticised Tory peer Lord Mancroft over his negative comments about nurses.

In a parliamentary debate Lord Mancroft described the nurses who had been treating him as ‘grubby’, ‘drunken’ and ‘promiscuous’.

It has since come to light that he was referring to a stay in Royal Bath Hospital NHS Trust.

Mr Bradshaw said Lord Mancroft should have complained to the hospital instead of in a Lords debate.

‘If Lord Mancroft had been dissatisfied by its response, he could have taken his complaint to the Healthcare Commission – and ultimately to the ombudsman,’ he said.

‘Instead he used the platform the Lords gives him to make sweeping and derogatory comments,’ he added. ‘That was the very kind of discourtesy of which he is accusing the nurses who cared for him.’

Lord Mancroft, however, has insisted that he had acted appropriately. ‘In my speech I did not complain about any hospital – I never mentioned it. In fact, I didn’t complain at all. I was pointing out a fact,’ he told the BBC’s Today programme.

Last week Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Jenny Tonge praised nurses, describing them as the most practical people in the NHS.

Referring to Lord Darzi’s review of the health service, she said: ‘I want to see more and more nurses leading services in the NHS because they are the most practical people in the service.

‘They are better than doctors at being able to understand patient’s problems,’ she added.

Strategic health authorities are currently finalising ‘visions’ of local healthcare to submit to the review.

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